“Black April” tragedy observed

IRENE ALIPIO of Westminster Arts Academy singing “The Star Spangled Banner (Orange County Tribune photos by Jim Tortolano).

Flags rippled in the April breeze, songs were sung, speeches made as hundreds of people solemnly observed “Black April” – the fall of the Republic of (South) Vietnam in 1975 – at an event at Sid Goldstein Freedom Park in Westminster on Saturday morning.

CHRISTINE CORDON, Westminster’s interim city manager.

Forty-seven years ago Communist forces seized control of Saigon, climaxing a war that took the lives of an estimated 250,000 South Vietnamese troops and nearly 60,000 American military personnel.

Each year, Westminster – the city with the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam – observes the conquest of the Republic of Vietnam.

In the opening remarks, Interim City Manager Christine Cordon urged those in attendance to “Listen with your hearts” to the emotions stirred by those remembering the people who lost their nation and their freedom, before finding a new home and liberty in the United States.

The national anthems of the Republic of (South) Vietnam and the U.S. were sung, and remarks were made by all five members of the Westminster City Council, as well as other elected officials. A wreath was laid at the Vietnam War Memorial in the park and there were songs and prayers offered.

THE FLAGS of the U.S. and the Republic of Vietnam are dipped in the solemn ceremony at Sid Goldstein Freedom Park in Westminster on Saturday.



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